Town Hall Meeting

23 Mar 2009

“If You Can’t Live On It, It Doesn’t Count”

Filed under: — Al @ 2:14 pm

Check out this clip from the film “The American Ruling Class” made in 1998. It’s one thing to have “full employment” as economists say, but if it includes jobs that pay less than people can live on, those jobs shouldn’t count. On some level, it is true that as long as people don’t accept a job for less than they can live on, then we will be A-OK! But desperate people do dumb things, that’s just the way life is. This is where unions come into play. They require their members to only work for so much money and for the businesses that want their members to only hire folks from their union – thus making sure nobody is able to do the desperate thing. DON’T BE FOOLED, AND DON’T BE NICKEL AND DIMED!!!

The dialogue is a little corny, but the best part of the clip is the song at the end, sing along!

3 Responses to ““If You Can’t Live On It, It Doesn’t Count””

  1. Miriam Spongberg Says:

    Received this from a young friend.
    I have read the book & passed on to others.

    MY COMMENT: I’m age 71, from a lower class family.

    1): My Mom & Dad supported us at low end jobs back when the Unions represented ALL WORKING PEOPLE (if white) . My parents always voted Union. I have been telling Union lawyer friends since 1970 that they must go back to representing ALL WORKING PEOPLE or they will loose. They haven’t;and They have.

    2): The nickel & dime workers either do not vote or vote in significant numbers for right-wing Republicans either at the direction of their Church or talk-show host. This is an issue I have NEVER seen addressed by the left. Ehrenreich gets into this issue a bit. We can’t do anything unless we get better support for our efforts to help & improve the lives of the Nickel & Dimers unless we can get their votes to support those efforts.

  2. glove Says:

    Those are really good points. I think the way to get more voters for leftist issues are to focus on the things that are widely popular, such as making it easier to join a union, or universal health care. These things have very large support from the public. I believe this is the reason that there are such large numbers of non-voters in the US. US voter turnout is only around 50% during presidential election years. Check it out here:

    There are some very popular ideas that both Democrats and Republicans refuse to endorse because the powers that be will lose some of their wealth and power. These mainstream politicians are very good at sounding like they want popular things like universal health care (ehem, Obama), but this is just good marketing speak. They are experts at marketing (their campaigns are run by the same folks that sell us toothpaste). I think the only thing that can defeat this is authentic leadership that supports very popular ideas wholeheartedly.

  3. glove Says:

    I should add that although it seems straight forward, having a candidate that endorses popular opinions is so rare. Maybe its the legacy of assassinations or just threats of personal destruction, or who knows, but it sure is rare. Also, Obama does believe in universal health care, and thinks its the best thing, but won’t run on it because he doesn’t think it will pass or is a winnable issue. I think thats why people left it to “hope” that he would actually do it. But check out this excellent reporting of his statements over time:

    AMY GOODMAN: I want to play what President Obama himself said about single payer and how his position appears to have changed. This is what he said back in June of 2003, before he was elected even to the US Senate.

    STATE SEN. BARACK OBAMA: I happen to be a proponent of single-payer universal healthcare coverage. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent—14 percent—of its gross national product on healthcare, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim’s talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out: a single-payer healthcare plan, universal healthcare plan.

    AMY GOODMAN: That was State Senator Obama. This is Senator Obama. He’s speaking more recently, when he was on the presidential campaign trail.

    UNIDENTIFIED: …on what you were just addressing.


    UNIDENTIFIED: And why not single payer? Why not get the corporate—


    UNIDENTIFIED: —battling and the lobbyists out of the way—


    UNIDENTIFIED: —and just go to a single payer?

    SEN. BARACK OBAMA: Well, I’ve said this before. If I were designing a system from scratch, then I’d probably set up a single-payer system. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the terminology, single payer basically means that you’ve got one government-funded program. It doesn’t have to all be government-run, but it’s government-funded. Everybody—Medicare would be an example of a single-payer system, if everybody was in Medicare.

    But the problem is we’re not starting from scratch. We’ve got a system in which most people have become accustomed to getting their health insurance through their employer. And for us to immediately transition from that, and given that a lot of people work for insurance companies, a lot of people work for HMOs—you’ve got a whole system of institutions that have been set up—making that transition in a rapid way, I think, would be very difficult. And people don’t have time to wait. They need relief now.

    So, my attitude is, let’s build off the system that we’ve got. Let’s make it more efficient. We may be, over time, as we make the system more efficient and everybody is covered, decide that there are other ways for us to provide care more effectively.

    AMY GOODMAN: That’s Senator Obama on the presidential campaign trail. Dr. Quentin Young, what’s wrong with that?

    …Read (or watch) the rest here:

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